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The Government’s embarrassing back down on Three Strikes has underlined the cracks in the Coalition and shown just how little thought is going into decisions which directly affect the lives of New Zealanders, Opposition Leader Simon Bridges says.

“Just days after defiantly promising to repeal the Three Strikes law, Justice Minister Andrew Little has been hauled into line and revealed to have been making promises he simply hadn’t done the work to be able to keep.

“And what is genuinely concerning is the embarrassing back down comes a week after it was confirmed the Government hadn’t even bothered to seek advice or follow due process before axing oil and gas exploration.

“It’s policy on the hoof and shows why Labour is so reluctant to make decisions and is instead sending everything to working groups – 122 and counting.

“When they do try and make a decision they make a mess instead.

“All along the Government’s approach to law and order has been reckless. It has promised to cut the prison population by a third because it doesn’t want to build Waikeria Prison but it has no plan aside from making it harder to send offenders to prison and making it easier for those already there to get out.

“Now the Coalition parties have been found to not even be talking to each other and Andrew Little’s comments about Three Strikes have been shown to be ill-advised bluster.

“These are incredibly serious matters but this is amateur hour stuff from a Government quickly proving its incompetence. It’s an unacceptable way of making decisions which will have a real impact on the lives of New Zealanders – in this case making them less safe.

“National will be tough on crime. We will hold offenders to account, we will build Waikeria Prison and we will ensure we make decisions, and do the work, in the best interests of New Zealanders.”

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